[License-review] The Vaccine License

Kevin P. Fleming kevin+osi at km6g.us
Wed Oct 30 05:57:16 UTC 2019

On Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 4:35 AM Grahame Grieve
<grahame at healthintersections.com.au> wrote:
>> I have already written two blog postings on the issue of "ethical" licenses, one including this proposed license:
>> https://perens.com/2019/10/12/invasion-of-the-ethical-licenses/
>> https://perens.com/2019/09/23/sorry-ms-ehmke-the-hippocratic-license-cant-work/
> hi Bruce
> If we're going to talk about this subject (as someone else suggested), then I'd like to ask
> you about these posts (and thanks very much for them). Your posts take a fairly hard legal
> approach to the license, which I understand. But on the other hand, it seems at least
> reasonable for someone who has invested a great deal of work into developing some
> software to state that they do not wish it to be used for some goal that violates their personal
> or organizational ethics, and that they do not license it's use under those circumstances.

That is the crux of the argument here; the Vaccine License does not
say anything about the goals for which the licensed software is being
used, rather it talks only about actions which are likely to be wholly
unrelated to the use of the software. If the license restricted the
use of the software by entities who promote anti-vaccination
activities in the course of performing that promotion, then the
restriction would be related to the usage of the software (and also
clearly violate the OSD).

I disagree with the submitter's statement that this license does not
violate OSD 5; in my opinion it most certainly does, just as a license
which restricted usage by people who practice a specific form of
religion would violate OSD 5. Any person may choose to practice that
form of religion, or not, or not practice any form of religion at all,
but this does not mean that those who choose to practice it don't
qualify as a 'group'. I don't read OSD 5 as only applying to groups
formed by natural characteristics; it applies groups formed by choice
as well.

More information about the License-review mailing list